ellie

A teenage student from Salford is finding out what life is really like on the front line fighting Coronavirus.

Here in her own words Ellie MacDonald, who is 19 and studying Journalism at the University of Salford, outlines her job as a cleaner in an A&E Hospital.

“My job is a housekeeping assistant in the A&E department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, which is my home city.

“One of my key roles is to deep clean areas where patients with suspected Coronavirus are being treated.

“This means taking curtains down and dismantling beds and cupboards before deep cleaning every inch to ensure no trace of the virus is left behind.

“I’ve been working here for three years, while studying, but this is the first time I’ve been asked to work in A&E.

“it’s an honour to do my job”

“During my first week back I was asked to help get a unit ready as a “hot zone”, which is an isolation pod for patients with suspected Covid-19.

“Every time a patient leaves the pod, I and the team, wearing protective clothing, move in to deep clean the area.

“But my job isn’t only to keep the wards, beds, and surfaces clean, it’s also to have a kind word, a smile, and a cup of tea for the dozens of terrified patients.

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“I also try to make sure patients have their masks on properly as this protects them.

“It’s a frightening time at the hospital and every time we have a slightly quiet day we worry it’s the calm before the storm.

“We are getting used to a new normal with everyone wearing protective equipment.

Every so often it comes home to me just how awful this situation is, especially when I see a patient struggling, but day to day it’s an honour to do my job, and working with the most amazing team here means we all support each other, and I know we’ll get through.

“As a Broadcast Journalism student at Salford, I wanted to record my experiences in a series of audio diaries that we will be sharing on Salford Now.

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